23 Book-Inspired Halloween Costumes for Kids and Parents

by Janssen Bradshaw

Usually, I don’t get particularly excited about dressing up for Halloween. For me, it’s more stressful than anything else.

But I’ll admit that once I started looking for book-inspired costumes, I suddenly wanted a dozen Halloween parties to go to because I was swimming in great costume ideas.

Seriously, how amazing are some of these?

Whether you’re looking for a Halloween costume for yourself, your elementary schooler, or your baby, there’s something great for every book lover here.

Miss Nelson & Miss Viola Swamp (Miss Nelson Is Missing!)


If there’s anything better than a good book costume, it’s TWO good book costumes. Whether you wear one one day and the other another, or pair up with a friend or sister, there’s something delightful about sweet Miss Nelson and the terrifying substitute, Miss Viola Swamp.

Corduroy (Corduroy)


As one of the most lovable bears in picture books, you really can’t go wrong with a Corduroy costume!

Belle (Beauty and the Beast)


Besides being one of the most beloved fairy tale characters of all time, Belle, of Beauty and the Beast, is also a huge book-lover herself. Plus, it’s so easy to do her costume — all you need is a blue dress, a white apron, and a big stack of books!

Max & Monsters (Where the Wild Things Are)


I saw a list recently that rated Where the Wild Things Are as the all-time most beloved children’s book, and I wasn’t a bit surprised. It’s a bonus that the characters make for fantastic costumes, whether for a child or for the whole family!

Wimpy Kid (Diary of a Wimpy Kid)


Whether you make a full headpiece or just print out a simple paper face mask, this is a crowd-pleasing costume that you probably have all the parts for already. My favorite kind!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Chicka Chicka Boom Boom)


If you want something simple but impactful, this classic picture book is a winner for a child or adult costume (or do lower-case letters for a child and upper-case for a grown-up for a fun pair).

The Book with No Pictures (The Book with No Pictures)


An actual book costume! All you need is a white t-shirt and a couple magic markers to trace the words from the book. Super simple, yet so creative!

Curious George & The Man with the Yellow Hat (Curious George)


This is one of those perfect sibling costumes and works easily for almost any age and for girls and boys alike.

Olivia (Olivia)


I love how simple this costume is but also really recognizable. And how cute would a mother-daughter version be? I may be forcing my Olivia-loving kindergartner to wear this with me on Halloween.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar (The Very Hungry Caterpillar)


Your very hungry little one is sure to eat up this costume! Add a butterfly (or maybe that apple he ate through on Monday) for a super adorable sibling costume.

Peter Pan (Peter Pan)


You know that Peter Pan would have LOVED Halloween. It’s the perfect holiday for the boy who didn’t want to grow up.

Geronimo Stilton (Geronimo Stilton)


My daughter is wild about Geronimo Stilton right now, checking out two or three new books every time we go to the library and listening to the audio versions every afternoon during quiet time. This fun costume is perfect and easy to put together.

Lulu (Ladybug Girl)


Step up your average ladybug costume by dressing up as Lulu! When Lulu puts on her ladybug costume, she becomes Ladybug Girl, a superhero whose imagination leads her on all kinds of adventures.

Waldo (Where’s Waldo?)


Waldo may be the most recognizable book character around, and the easiest one to copy. Just grab yourself a striped shirt, some round black glasses, and a red pom-pom hat!

The Pigeon (Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!)


I don’t know of any book that is so universally popular with toddlers and early elementary schoolers. Plus, we all know that the pigeon would be an excellent trick-or-treater; he’s so good at convincing grown-ups to give him what he wants!

Oompa Loompa (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)


Fun for one kid, even better if you have several! Plus a little toddler is just the right size for an authentic Oompa Loompa.

Princess Elizabeth (The Paper Bag Princess)


If you can convince your child to give up the floofy princess dress, this is a simple and clever Halloween costume. Plus, who doesn’t want to be a princess who slays her own dragons?

James (James and the Giant Peach)


All Roald Dahl fans are rejoicing with this costume. Poor James isn’t quite as popular as Charlie (and he doesn’t get to visit a chocolate factory either), so if you love an underdog, this is the costume for you. Plus, it’s no-sew!

Katniss & Peeta (The Hunger Games)


A leather jacket and braid are easy to come by. Add a flour sack for Peeta and a curly blonde baby and you have an easy, and on-trend family costume!


Want even more ideas? Check out our Pinterest board of Storybook Halloween Costumes!